n Acta Academica - Intellectual Traditions in South Africa. Ideas, Individuals and Institutions, Peter Vale, Lawrence Hamilton and Estelle Prinsloo (Eds.) : book review

Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


Vale, Hamilton and Prinsloo deserve thanks for putting together a collection of essays on 13 intellectual traditions present in our current political, cultural and intellectual discourse. With the subtitle Ideas, Individuals and Institutions, the authors set out in the not much traversed (yet superbly done in the exceptions, i.e. Dubow and Du Toit) field of South African intellectual history.

The book is organised in three sections. Part One, Inherited Ideas, Transplanted Institutions and Critiques, deals with Liberalism, Marxism, Afrikaner political thinking, and Positivism. Part Two, Resistance to Domination : African and Asian Alternatives, focuses on African nationalism, Pan- Africanism, Black Consciousness, Ghandian thinking, and Feminism. Part Three, Religious Dogma and Emancipatory Potential, approaches the intellectual, political and cultural offerings of Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. An introduction by Peter Vale and a conclusion by Lawrence Hamilton round off a book written by specialists but fully accessible to most lay readers.

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